COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With the number of COVID-19 cases the highest they’ve ever been in the state, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is recommending residents plan home-based festivities for the Fourth of July.
“The virus is rapidly spreading across the state, with some of the largest increases in our coastal communities,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, DHEC Public Health Director. “We’ve all given so much for so long, and we all want to be at our beautiful beaches, at our parks, our friends’ houses, our block parties and community events but I’m asking all of us to stay vigilant in the fight against this deadly virus. While we celebrate our country’s birthday, please help your communities, especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. If we all pledge to wear our face masks, stay six feet apart, and wash our hands often, together we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. That’s how we ‘Stay SC Strong.’”
According to DHEC, there has been a 966% increase in newly reported cases among residents ages 11 to 20. There has also been a 413% increase in newly reported cases among residents between the ages of 21 and 30.
“In addition to the disheartening increases in young people transmitting the virus to their family and friends, new data indicate that asymptomatic people can spread the virus more easily than initially thought,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “If you’ve tested positive but don’t have symptoms, it’s imperative that you complete your quarantine period in order to not spread the virus to others while you’re contagious.”
For the last five days, more than 1,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases have been reported by DHEC. Officials say more and more of the positive cases reported are individuals who took part in group gatherings without keeping a safe distance from others or wearing a mask.
DHEC has also recommended watching fireworks shows while remaining in your vehicles or holding virtual Fourth of July celebrations.
Several local ordinances have been put in place across South Carolina requiring residents to wear face masks.
For the latest coronavirus news, be sure to visit the WIS Coronavirus Updates page.